The 2020-2021 orange crop forecast update for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt, published on September 10, 2020 by Fundecitrus is 286.72 million boxes of 40.8 kg each. This figure corresponds to a decrease of 0.36% in relation to the estimate published in May and 25.87% as compared to the previous crop, representing one of the most severe crop losses in the last ten years.
Approximately 20.54 million boxes of the total crop should be produced in West Minas Gerais. This year’s harvest started later due to a larger amount of fruit from the second bloom and did not pick up until mid-June. Field survey data shows that harvest in August reached 25% of the production, which is a slower pace than the 35% recorded for the same time last year.
Harvest reached 97% for the early varieties Hamlin, Westin and Rubi; 66% for the other earlies Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple; 13% for Pera Rio; 3% for Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha; and 2% for Natal. The average orange weight for the early varieties was higher than initially estimated, thanks to the rain that fell in May and June, right before harvest.
The weather changed in July and rain was replaced by drought conditions all over the citrus belt. Days remained hot and dry in August, except for three regions where rainfall was considerable.